Summer Solstice is with us, heralding the beginning of summer and, traditionally, a time to take stock of our lives.
In ancient sites all over the UK, people gather to watch the sunrise on June 21st. From the stone circles of Cornwall and Stonehenge in the south, to the Ring of Brodgar in Orkney, music, dance, singing and celebration will greet the dawn. Fire is a powerful symbol of the solstice and, in many locations, bonfires will be lit. In others, maypoles will be erected and age old rituals performed.It is a time of joy, hope, promise and fulfilment. A time for feasting and merriment. A magical time that has captured the imagination for millennia.
Of all the many venues for celebration of this magical time, my choice would have to be up in Orkney amid that special stone circle known as the Ring of Brodgar. There, people collect to celebrate the sunrise with music, poetry, readings and the telling of folk tales, which abound in the islands. In Orkney, the Goddess of the season is the 'Mither of the Sea'. She stays in Orkney throughout the summer, keeping the seas calm and warm, ensuring plentiful stocks of fish for all. You have to get up early though, the long summer days mean that dawn is around 3.20a.m. (but first light is around 1a.m.!).
Now, if you want to have your own solstice celebration, you might like to try your hand at Maypole Dancing. Here's a link to get you started
And here you will find some traditional Summer Solstice rituals you can employ whether you are celebrating on your own, or with others.
And, finally, here is a really interesting site with information on all sorts of traditional events held throughout the year, as well as a fascinating insight into the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids
Blessed Be to all!